I recently expressed some life advice to a friend who is going through a crossroads of life (which, let’s be honest, we all are in some capacity).

As I was going through the whole “life is a journey” and “listen to your heart” charade, I realized we all know this.

We’ve heard it since childhood. But, we need to constantly remind ourselves of this: to be gentle with yourself, to forgive your mistakes, and let things go.

It’s important to recognize what really matters in life and what is trivial. It’s important to remember that life moves on. Every second it ticks by; it doesn’t wait for us to be ready. Time doesn’t wait for us to catch up. It moves, and we either stay stagnant or we leap.

It’s a choice. Every day we make choices!

It would definitely be easier to know what lies ahead. It would be easier to know the good and bad, the obstacles we may face, and the goals we will accomplish.

But, if that were our lives, how boring would it be?

To say life is a journey is to say it is an adventure.

Would you rather take the path that is straight gravel for hundreds of thousands of miles or the one that dips into a valley and curves around a mountain where you can’t see the end? If we knew what the view looked like at the top of a mountain, would we still climb it?

A family member once said, “You see one sunset, you’ve seen them all.” Another family member watches the sunset every day, admiring the different ways the clouds overlap, the light glows, and the colors change.

What mindset would you rather live in?

We all feel in some way, at some point in time, that life is against us—the whole, “why are you laughing at me, God.” But, it’s in those moments that the excitement of life lies. In those moments of hardship and confusion is where the possibilities of change exist.

We are always at the brink of transformation, the brink of evolving. It’s just up to us if we embrace it or not.

Some people have heartbreak and turn it into creativity. Other people experience heartbreak and turn it into an extra twenty pounds.

Like the ocean, we either the ride the wave and experience a period of joy and weightlessness against the water, or we resist and have the wind knocked out of us and sand in our bathing suits.

It’s not easy. I’ve definitely experienced both.

In the long run, it’s important to be gentle with yourself. It’s important to remember that life isn’t a dress rehearsal, and each day is an opportunity to rewrite a story you’re not happy with or to further develop the story that you love.

Each moment in life is a moment to know that “this too shall pass,” and we can either embrace that moment or fight it.

At the end of the day, it’s important to remember that we all experience the same feelings whether we voice them or not. At the end of the day, it’s our choices that determine how our journey will progress: either stuck in quicksand, slowly sinking, or standing at the edge of a cliff, ready to leap and having faith that you’ll land among the clouds.